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Sea New Bernard Gribble Exhibition

An impressive new exhibition of the art of Bernard Gribble (1872-1962) has just opened at Poole Museum.

Although he lived for many years in London, Gribble spent the second half of his career in Parkstone, becoming one of the best known Poole artists of the 20th century. The exhibition focuses on Gribble’s work as a marine painter and highlights his important work in the First World War, his romantic depictions of historical naval events and piracy, and his paintings of Poole Quay and Harbour.

At the height of his fame during the First World War, Gribble was among the most significant painters of the war at sea, and he was an eyewitness of events such as the sinking of the German Fleet at Scapa Flow. He was employed by King George V and the U.S. Navy to paint grand naval pictures, and his work was collected by Theodore Roosevelt and Jackie Onassis and hung in the Oval Office of the White House. 

The exhibition provides a new opportunity to see paintings from the collection of Borough of Poole Museum Service - which houses the world’s greatest collection of Gribble’s art - alongside loans from private and public collections, including the National Maritime Museum and the RNLI, with which he was closely associated.

Gribble’s pictures of Poole’s historic buildings are iconic, and a number of these now hang in the Civic Centre, where two of Gribble’s great historical set-pieces take pride of place at the entrance to the Council Chamber. In the Museum’s exhibition the focus is on his maritime art, and a series of pictures of The Quay and Poole Harbour reveal his fascination with boats and shipping of all kinds.

Gribble’s impressionistic style has been out of fashion for some decades, and his work not seen in galleries or exhibitions. Consequently Gribble’s art is much less widely known now than its qualities deserve and this exhibition provides an ideal opportunity to reassess his career.

The exhibition continues until February 2014, and is an early event in the official First World War Centenary Programme, led by Imperial War Museums.

Also new at the Museum is a display of paintings of Poole’s urban scene in the 20th century, chosen from the Museum collection and including two paintings by the celebrated artist Henry Lamb, who lived in Poole Old Town after the First World War.

Councillor Judy Butt, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Public Engagement and Participation (including Culture), Borough of Poole, said: "It's fantastic how the Museum’s new exhibition reveals the strength of our art collection, one of the finest in the South West, through the art of our very own Bernard Gribble. I’m also very proud that the exhibition is part of the official First World War Centenary Programme. This exibition really has something for everyone so please come along and have a look at this amazing collection of art."

The Museum and the exhibitions are free and are open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and from noon to 4pm on Sunday.